Clothes and gender from a trans POV

Like most people, I don’t agree with how clothes are unnecessarily gendered in every clothes shop you go into. It just creates judgment where there doesn’t need to be any.

When women wear men’s clothes, they are seen as a lesbian, just because they don’t like wearing dresses or skirts. But, even so, women wearing trousers and typically “masculine” clothing is more accepted now than men wearing women’s clothes. Masculinity just seems to be more accepted than femininity in general. But that’s not what I want to talk about here.

I preferred wearing masculine clothes since I was age 11, I would say. That was when I wanted to wear trousers as part of my school uniform instead of skirts. I was one of the few “girls” (the quotation marks are there because I am a guy but I was thought to be a girl at that age. I thought I was too…) who wore trousers which I felt self-conscious about sometimes but it didn’t bother me that much. I still liked wearing dresses though up until recently and wear women’s clothes and shoes. I came out as gay when I was 14, later as non-binary at 17, and then I realised I was a trans guy at 19 which had nothing to do with my choices in clothing but it is interesting to think about.

When I first discovered that I may be transgender/non-binary, I developed a different perspective on clothes. Before, I didn’t really think about the clothes I wore in terms of gender. I was a “girl”, I wore girl’s clothes. That’s it. When I was non-binary, it helped me realise that clothes are very gendered and they don’t need to be. They’re only clothes… I mostly wore the same clothes I had before but I bought some clothes that were specifically men’s.

Dysphoria played a role in the clothes I was buying, however. Over the time that I was questioning my gender, I bought more men’s clothes and donated the clothes I had that were aimed at women. In the back of my mind, I knew that they were only clothes and they didn’t determine my gender but I also knew that I felt more comfortable in men’s clothes and I felt more like myself in these clothes. I do have some clothes that aren’t men’s clothes but they are ones that I genuinely like wearing and they are mostly t-shirts and shirts that could be seen as gender neutral so it doesn’t bother me too much. All my shoes are women’s, only because my feet are too small for men’s shoes!

This is maybe the first time I have really thought about how my being trans affects the kind of clothes I choose to buy and wear. I hope this is interesting to you as well.

Ellis

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